Two weeks ago I wrote about the new To Do List for the Cubs this off-season. Well, the Cubs have checked off the first item on that list, hire a new manager. I had a feeling it would be Rick Renteria and I was correct (for the first time). He was not my first choice, but with Theo & Co., I am beginning to see a pattern. They are wanting coaches that they are already familiar with and have some sort of previous relationship. From October 2009 to October 2011, Jed Hoyer was the GM of the San Diego Padres. Renteria was a coach with the Padres during that time. There’s your connection! I’m hoping it works out better than Dale Sveum did.
Yesterday, I mentioned that the Cubs could be trading Jeff Samardzija to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs still have two years of control on Samardzija’s contract. He will not be a free agent until 2016 at the earliest and he will turn 29 in January. He has the potential to bring in a decent haul if traded. I’m not naive enough to think he would bring as much as the Matt Garza trade did in 2011 for the Rays, but I think it would be close. I took a quick look at Arizona’s top 20 prospects. I think the Cubs could land 2-3 of these players in a deal. I’m not sure which ones it would be and it is too early for me to make a guess. I plan on keeping an eye on this over the next month and see what happens.
Finally, on January 22, 2011, I wrote a blog and an email to the MLB Network with some ideas for programming. One of those ideas was to start showing Arizona Fall League games. I also included the Caribbean League. Well, lately, the MLB Network has been showing the AFL and I love it! I have watched it with my 6 year old son and was able to enjoy seeing some of the young names you hear about in baseball today. Plus, I have seen Albert Almora and Jorge Soler this week as well. That’s a plus for me.
Another option the Cubs could pursue at first base is
He will become a free agent in 2012 and it’s a strong possibility that
the will trade their slugger. The Cubs have a lot of
prospects that they could offer in exchange for the 28 year old
Gonzalez. I’m sure it would take a combination of hitting and pitching
to get a deal done with the Pads, but I think Gonzalez would be a great
addition to the Cubs. I would only make this dream of a deal if the
Cubs were able to sign Gonzalez to a long term contract. I am sure he’s
going to get over twenty million a year as a free agent. I think
Gonzalez would help solidify the Cubs need for a left . He would bat in the middle of the lineup for certain. I don’t see the Pads dealing him until the trade deadline next summer unless a deal was offered this offseason that they could not pass up.
Here’s a closer look at his stats. He’s a career .284 hitter. Over
the last five seasons, he’s hit between 24 to 40 homeruns. That’s at
Petco so, I am confident he could hit more at . He’s
driven in over 100 runs three of the last four years. In a better
lineup, I believe he would be closer to 120 RBIs a year. He’s also won
a gold glove at first base in 2008 and 2009.
He meets all the requirements of a stud player that the Cubs could go
after this offseason. The only other stud player I would like the Cubs
to get is Cliff Lee. It’s time we get serious about winning.
I love this time of year. Spring training and college hoops. It doesn’t get much better for me than that. And this year there is the WBC too. Even though I have complained about the timing of the WBC I am still following it. Last night was awesome! Team USA came from behind to beat Puerto Rico. David Wright was the hero with the game winning clutch hit. The players stormed home plate and the players were truly excited about winning. You can definitely tell that this baseball classic means something to them. Now that they will be playing in the next round I hope some fans actually show up to the game. I know I would if I didn’t live in southern Illinois. I may have to plan a trip for the next WBC so I can catch a few games. Until then I will continue to watch.
Just a small trivia fact about one of my favorite Cubs. Derrek Lee was recruited to play baseball and basketball and the University of North Carolina when he was in high school. He was going to go there and play both sports until he was drafted 14th overall by the San Diego Padres in the ’93 draft. I wonder how good he was. I mean this is one of the best college basketball programs ever. This is the school that Michael Jordan attended….but Dean Smith wouldn’t let him play baseball. MJ did have an offer from North Carolina State to play both baseball and basketball though. Obviously he made the right choice with some influence from Dean Smith.
Anyway, it’s March and I am getting psyched up for a great NCAA tournament. I have North Carolina beating Louisville in the finals. I have high hopes for Team USA in the WBC. I think they can win it all this time. And of course, it’s a brand new season for my beloved Chicago Cubs! When it comes to sports it doesn’t get much better than this.
With baseball’s winter meetings to begin this week I anticipate the Cubs to make some changes. Personally, I believe that the Cubs and Padres will work a deal sending Peavy to the Cubs. Since they need a shortstop, I suggest sending Ronny Cedeno to the Pads in the deal. It appears it will require a third team to make the trade work. I have read numerous times that the Orioles will be that team. If the Cubs send Felix Pie to Baltimore and Ronny Cedeno to San Diego I think it may work. It would probably take another player or two to get the deal completed too. I am guessing Sean Marshall as one of those players.
The Cubs need to address their need for a left handed hitting bat. I am currently behind them going after Raul Ibanez. Lou Piniella knows him and seems to like him a lot. I think that would be a great move and you could use Fukudome and Johnson as a platoon in centerfield.
With this weeks meetings I believe that Jim Hendry will try to address these two issues. It will be interesting to see what else comes out of these meetings.
It appears that Mark Cuban is completely out of the running for buying the Cubs. I believe the Ricketts family will be the new owners. If so, I think it may be a good thing. As much as I still want Cuban, I realize that Bud Selig and his cronies aren’t ready for a ‘maverick’ like him.
Pick up Rich Harden’s option for next season.
Extend Jim Hendry’s Contract.
Re-sign Ryan Dempster.
4. Re-sign Kerry Wood?????????? Please, one more year! (Highly unlikely)
5. Trade for Jake Peavy
6. Find a Centerfielder/Rightfielder. One that bats left handed. (I like Raul Ibanez)
7. Finalize the sale of the Chicago Cubs. Preferrably Cuban followed by the Ricketts family.
Okay, the 2008 regular season was great. I watched 3-4 games a week and when I couldn’t watch the Cubs I listened to Ron Santo and Pat Hughes call the game on the radio. Unfortunately, the post-season was terrible. But now it’s time for the Off-Season to begin and here is my personal to do list for the Cubs. I have a short list of things to do because I believe the Cubs only need to tweak their roster a little bit in order to win in the playoffs next year. So, here it is….my to do list for the Cubs this winter.
Pick up Rich Harden’s option for next season.
2. Extend Jim Hendry’s Contract.
3. Re-sign Ryan Dempster.
4. Re-sign Kerry Wood
5. Trade for Jake Peavy.
6. Find a Centerfielder.
7. Finalize the sale of the Chicago Cubs.
Okay, we already picked up Harden’s option, but I felt it was important to list it anyway. That way, we have already accomplished something this off-season. Next, the Cubs need to extend Jim Hendry’s contract. He is the one who put this current Cubs team together and he seems to have a great relationship with the players. Keeping him is crucial for the Cubs this off-season and could turn out to be the most important move they make all winter. After, securing Hendry, the Cubs should be able to take advantage of his relationship with Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and re-sign both players to multi-year deals each.
So far, the first 4 things to do seem simple and the Cubs appear to be on track. However, number 5 on my list is a little more complicated. Jake Peavy recently named the Cubs as one of the teams he would like play for next season if traded. I think the Cubs need to pursue Peavy and make their rotation one of the best in all of baseball. The Cubs must trade Jason Marquis in this deal even if they have to eat most of his salary of $9.875 million for next season. I believe that Felix Pie would have to be in the deal too. I am fine with that. I don’t know who else or what positions the Padres want, but Marquis and Pie is a good start. Especially if the Cubs still pay most of Marquis’ salary. Other players I would consider trading in this deal are Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, Kevin Hart, Angel Guzman, Michael Wuertz, Casey McGehee, Sam Fuld, and Tyler Colvin. It all depends on what the Padres are looking for, but I think Felix Pie would be the center piece of a deal for Peavy.
Next, I would like the Cubs to sign or trade for an everyday centerfielder if they trade Felix Pie. If not, then let Pie play everday to start the season next year. If he is unable to hit by the start of June let Reed Johnson take over. However, assuming the Cubs deal Pie this off-season, I have a few guys that I would like them to pursue. Coco Crisp is on my short list, but I am hesitant to make a trade with Boston. Another option would be to move Fukudome to center and sign Bobby Abreu to play right. He would provide the left handed bat that the Cubs could use. The Cubs could even make it a multiplayer deal for Peavy and obtain Brian Giles, but I think he would be a better fit in rightfield. Or the Cubs could bring back Jim Edmonds and platoon him with Johnson again. These are just a few options but I would like to see an everyday centerfielder next year and use Johnson as your fourth outfielder.
Finally, the impending sale of the Chicago Cubs. I have read that the deal may not be completed until after next season begins. There are reportedly 5 bidders still alive when it comes to the sale of the Cubs. I am interested in only 2 of them, Mark Cuban and the Ricketts family. I would prefer Cuban but I think Ricketts would be decent. Actually, I more than prefer Cuban. I think he would make sure the Cubs won a World Series and take care of the players and fans. He’s the only potential owner that I know who goes to Wrigley and watches the Cubs. He’s the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He loves his team and refuses to sit in some luxury box. Instead he sits courtside and cheers his team on. That’s what I want from the next owner of the Cubs. Someone who is right there with the fans. Someone that wants to win as bad as I do. Someone who won’t be afraid to spend money. You’ve got to spend money to make money. Just imagine how much the Cubs would be worth when they finally win the World Series! I think Cuban is the man for the job.
Anyway, here’s my “To Do List” for the Cubs this off-season. I will try to keep it updated and make any additions when necessary.
The San Diego Padres’ star pitcher, Jake Peavy, is wanting to be traded. He has mentioned the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals as two of the teams he would like to play for. It’s my understanding that he wants to stay in the National League and play for a contender. If all of this is true, and he does get traded, I hope he ends up with my beloved Cubs. Imagine a rotation featuring Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly and Jake Peavy. Take those 5 pitchers and put them in any order you want. You would have 5 guys capable of winning 15 games. It would be a tough rotation to beat. I hope Jim Hendry, at the least, contacts the Padres and tries to make an offer. If anyone can get it done I believe Hendry can.